A police officer who "suffered from bad temper and anger
management problems" but said he was able to perform his job
duties, was not disabled under the Ontario Human Rights
Code, an Ontario court has decided.
Because the employee had failed a "use of force test",
he was required to surrender his weapon. His "temper
erupted". Four police officers were called to a domestic
incident later that day at his home. He assaulted all four officers
and threatened to kill two of them. He was subdued with a taser. He
had abused alcohol and disclosed a twelve-year history of binge
drinking. A psychologist stated that the employee had work-induced
post-traumatic stress disorder.
The court stated that is was "not aware of any
jurisprudence which established that anger management issues will
support a finding of disability."
The court went on to say:
"Addiction arising from alcoholism and/or drug abuse or
post traumatic stress disorder may amount to a disability within
the meaning of the Code. However, the onus on a person
claiming a disability is to prove it. There was some evidence that
the applicant was addicted to alcohol and some medically prescribed
drugs. There was also some evidence that the applicant was
suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. However, there was
no evidence that any of those conditions rendered him unable to
perform any aspect of his job description. Indeed, quite the
opposite was claimed. In submitting through his counsel that the
appropriate penalty was simply a demotion, the applicant took the
position that he was able to perform and carry out his essential
Because the employee was not disabled, the police service had no
duty to accommodate him.
This case demonstrates that employees who request accommodation
of a disability must prove the disability. This employee, who
claimed to be able to carry out his police duties, was not disabled
and therefore was not entitled to accommodation under human rights
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